|Brantlinger, Patrick, “Bluebooks, the Social Organism,
and the Victorian Novel,” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and
the Arts Vol. XIV, No. 4 (Fall 1972): 328-344.
Brantlinger discusses how several early Victorian writers were influenced
by parliamentary bluebooks and other official and social investigations.
He briefly refers to the example of Lancelot, hero of Kingsley’s Yeast
who immersed himself in a plethora of bluebooks and other reports in his
examination of the ‘Condition-of-the-Poor question'. It was partly
though the study of such reports that Lancelot's social conscience was
and Political Novel.
Smith, Sheila M. “Blue Books and Victorian Novelists,”
Review of English Studies, New Ser. Vol. XXI (1970): 23-40.
Smith considers the use by Kingsley and Disraeli in Yeast and
respectively of the 1843 Blue book, Report on the Employment of Women
and Children in Agriculture. Echoing his brother-in-law Sir Sidney
Godolphin Osborne who had supplied evidence for the Report, Kingsley in
rejects the common romantic depiction of the countryside as beautiful and
idyllic especially when contrasted with the ugliness and squalor of industrial
cities. Smith also declares that Kingsley in common with other Victorian
novelists used the content of Blue books to express ideals and spiritual
truths. In writing of the misery and dreadfulness of rural areas,
Kingsley "expressed his belief in man's responsibility for his brother,
gave the lie to romantic, idealized descriptions of the countryside, and
suggested the way in which the Christian Church can help redeem society"
Books; Rural Life; Disraeli.